The play-offs are finally here and Oxford United head for Fratton Park, Portsmouth this evening looking to pick up where they left off over 100 days ago.
United had won five out of five before the season ground to a halt but now get a chance to press for a place at Wembley in the first leg of the play-off. Boss Karl Robinson told iFollow that he is expecting things to be tough tonight:
“Portsmouth are the bookies’ favourites for the play-offs” he said “and I think that’s justified because they are a very good team and their home record is outstanding; I don’t think they have lost a game there. So we know we are in for a difficult game and everyone knows the respect we have for Kenny and his players and for Portsmouth football club. But I’d like to think they will be saying the same about us, that we are a good team, a club that’s run properly and a team on the up and developing and evolving with every year.
“I think it’s an even game. I don’t think there will be many cards turned over too soon tonight but this industry can throw so many curveballs at you.
“I have been involved in a lot of play-off campaigns but this one I’m not overstating things because for us the consequences are so big but we are living in a world where people are still dying from Covid-19. I don’t want to offend anyone and I’m frightened to say how much we want to win promotion when we know there are much bigger things going on.
“We’ll be fully prepared as ever. With play-off games it is new territory because we never play two-legged games. We may have replays but we know this is different and what makes this completely different is that the tie is not even four quarters this time they are eighths because of the drinks breaks.
“So nobody knows what to expect but if we achieve what we want to then it will be remarkable. It was a distant dream; we spoke about it last summer but we knew how hard it would be. That’s why I am so proud of my players and staff and of the fans who have conducted themselves brilliantly.
“It has been a year that I won’t forget and personally I have never been so happy. I love coming in to work and I dedicate myself to this club because they have given me so much.
“I know how much the club means to people but we have had a fantastic year and I think we are now a team that never gives up and a team that rides the rough with the smooth. Whatever is thrown at us we face it with a smile on our face, a lot of humility and respect for the opposition, always, and a lot of talent because that is what this group of players certainly have.”
See the full interview in iFollow